Issued by CEMO Center - Paris
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Iran's most popular cleric gunned down

Sunday 30/April/2023 - 07:03 PM
The Reference
Aya Ezz

Member of the Leadership Council of Experts in Babolsar city in Mazandaran Province, Iran, Ayatollah Abbas Ali Soleimani, was killed in an attack by a gunman, the official Iranian news agency, IRNA, has reported.

Who is he?

Soleimani, 75, is a prominent Iranian cleric. He was a member of the Council of Experts and a member of the body in charge of appointing the Supreme Leader of Iran.

He was also the representative of Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. He used to deliver sermons on Fridays at mosques in the central Iranian city of Isfahan.

Soleimani was born on July 19, 1948 in Kashan city in the northern part of Isfahan. He graduated from the College of Law at the University of Tehran. He received a PhD in jurisprudence from Imam Sadeq University.

He participated in the Islamic Revolution of 1979 and was a supporter of Ayatollah Khomeini and a member of the Islamic Republic Party.

Soleimani also served in the Revolutionary Guard Corpse, especially during the Iranian-Iraqi war (1980-1988). He also held leadership positions in several Iranian provinces, including Isfahan.

Soleimani was elected as a member of the Council of Leadership Experts in 1998. He headed the Committee on Organization and Planning in the council.

He was also influential in the Iranian political arena, supporting Conservative candidate, Ebrahim Raisi, in the 2021 presidential election.

Soleimani was not only a politician, but also the author of several books on jurisprudence, principles and politics.

He was an outspoken critic of the nuclear agreement Iran concluded with Western states in 2015. He considered the agreement a strategic mistake that posed dangers to Iran's security.

Soleimani's political positions gained him popularity among ordinary Iranians, especially after the assassination of Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani in 2020.

His supporters often asked him to run for president, even as he turned down this notion.